Canadian army to possibly select Thales Australia's Hawkei PMV as Light Utility Vehicle

On August 28, 2023, photos were posted on Twitter by @SolarMare, showcasing the Thales Hawkei PMV (Protected Mobility Vehicle) undergoing cold weather tests. The vehicle is one of the contenders for the Canadian Armed Forces' Light Utility Vehicle (LUV) project.
Follow Army Recognition on Google News at this link

Army Recognition Global Defense and Security news
Thales Hawkei is a 4x4 light-wheeled protected vehicle, developed by Thales Australia (Picture source: @SolarMare Twitter)

The Thales Hawkei is a 4x4 light-wheeled protected vehicle, developed by Thales Australia. It draws on the company's experience with the Australian Bushmaster program and is designed in collaboration with international and local partners such as Boeing, PAC Group, Plasan, and various Australian SMEs. The Hawkei aims to modernize the Australian Army's fleet of light-wheeled vehicles and is a candidate for Australia's LAND 121 Phase 4 program, which seeks to replace the Army's Land Rover fleet.

Equipped with advanced C4I capabilities, the Hawkei serves as a fully integrated node in network-centric warfare. The Australian Army ordered 1,100 Hawkei vehicles in 2015, and by 2018, some were deployed to Iraq for operational trials. As of September 2020, the vehicle entered full-rate production at Thales' facility in Bendigo, Victoria, and was also shortlisted for Poland's Pegaz program.

The Canadian Armed Forces' LUV project is designed to replace the Mercedes G-Wagon and Chevrolet Silverado, vehicles that serve multiple roles under various conditions. The LUV will become the primary vehicle for the Army Reserve for both training and mission tasks and will also be used by the Air Force's tactical helicopter squadrons for securing landing zones. Major David Gottfried, the project director, highlighted the vehicle's importance across the Canadian Armed Forces.

The project is expected to go before the Defence Capability Board in the spring of 2020 and aims to procure about 2,500 vehicles. The estimated budget ranges from $250 million to $500 million, although some industry discussions suggest it could go as high as $1 billion. Companies that have garnered attention from the project team include Oshkosh, Mercedes Benz, Iveco, Thales, AM General, Jeep, Volkswagen, Jankel, and the Streit Group, among others.

The essential requirements for this new vehicle include all-terrain mobility, integrated electronic systems, significant payload capacity, and a high level of protection against land mines, improvised explosive devices, and ballistic weapons, all while being light enough for airlift by military helicopters.

The Thales Hawkei appears to meet many of these requirements. It is a 4x4 light-protected vehicle with a versatile remote-controlled weapon station that can accommodate various armaments. It offers seating for either three or six military personnel, depending on the variant, and is powered by a six-cylinder, 3.2-liter diesel engine that provides a range of over 1,000 km and speeds up to 115 km/h. The Hawkei is also C4I-ready and comes equipped with a self-recovery winch. Designed for adaptability and high performance, it can be airlifted by standard military aircraft like the C-130 Hercules, making it a versatile asset for modern military operations.